Stars target masheshena

Linda Moreotsene

Losing to Golden Arrows on Tuesday night was probably not a good omen for Platinum Stars ahead of their CAF Champions League match on Saturday.

But coach Miguel Gamondi has decided to be philosophical about the 2-0 defeat.

He has made it clear that the players have put the loss behind them, and will be going for broke against Lesotho Correctional Service at Olympia Park Stadium on Saturday.

"When I took over and won the first two games, I told the players that although they had won, they were not the best players in the country," said Gamondi.

"After our loss on Tuesday, I again told them the loss did not make them the worst players in South Africa."

Gamondi knows something about "Masheshena" - as the Lesotho team is affectionately known at home - after being in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns when Downs were competing in the same competition a couple of years ago.

"It will be a difficult game. I know their players and they play some nice football.

"We are going to have to impose our style of play so we can later go to Lesotho with some advantage," Gamondi said.

But it won't be easy for the Argentinian, with some of his key players doubtful. Simba Marumo is still in rehabilitation while Edward Williams, George Mofokeng and Michael Khaile are also doubtful after getting some knocks.

Katiso Mojakhomo, the Lesotho head coach, said he relishes the challenge and wants to get rid of the impression that it is a foregone conclusion that a team from Lesotho will inevitably lose to their South African counterparts.

"We want to at least reach the group stages and are very positive about our chances.

"We know Stars very well from television, and are ready," said Mojakhomo.

He has every right to be confident, because several of his players are integral members of the Mountain Kingdom's national team - players such as Refiloe Potse, Ralekoti Mokhahlane and Mpitsa Marai.